Tag Archives: Hillview

Shoebox influx in 2017

Investors of shoebox units may face some difficulty renting them out, reported The Straits Times.

This is because a bumper supply of shoebox units are expected to enter the market, peaking by around 2017, revealed R’ST Research data. Leasing demand for such units is also untested, with fewer foreigners able to afford them.

“Increasingly, many (overseas nationals) can’t even afford renting a single shoebox unit, but would instead rent a room in an apartment… Rents will be under further pressure,” noted Alan Cheong, research head at Savills Singapore.

Based on caveats lodged, majority of the supply will come from District 19Sengkang, Hougang and Punggol – with at least 700 units expected to be completed during this period.

R’ST Research noted that at least 527 shoebox units could come from District 14, and at least 383 units from District 12. Over in the suburbs, districts 17 and 22 will contribute at least 224 units and 151 units respectively.

In the Guillemard to Changi Road area (Districts 14 and 15), Cheong stated that prices of newly-completed shoebox units stood at around $1,350 psf in 2013, increasing to more than $1,400 psf late last year and this year.

However, rents for such units fell from $2,600 per month in 2013 to around $2,000 to $2,200, bringing the gross yield down from 5.2 percent in 2013 to 4.1 percent.

Most shoebox owners have holding power, opting to keep their units rather than sell them at a low price. Hence, yields have more room to fall into the mid-three percent level in more accessible areas such as District 14, where rents stood at less than $2,500 per month.

“Once we venture into the new developments in the outlying HDB estates, the market is untested. There, yields may tend closer to three percent or even dip below that,” said Cheong.

Overall, prices of shoebox units fell by about 10 percent from their last peak in August 2013, based on flash estimates of the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index. Prices dropped about 1.1 percent in June from the month before.

R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said while prices of shoebox units keep falling due to growing supply, such units are still relevant.

“These tend to be occupied by younger tenants or owners, who will bring energy to the development and area – especially important for newer residential areas like Bartley, or those undergoing rejuvenation like Hillview and Lakeside.”

Increased share of foreign homebuyers

The proportion of foreign homebuyers, comprising Permanent Residents (PRs) and non-PRs (NPRs), increased from 22.9 per cent in Q2 2014 to 27.7 per cent in Q3 2014, according to Knight Frank’s latest Research Bulletin for the Residential sector.

The increase comes after a quarter-on-quarter decline in Q2.

“This rise in home-buying interest could signal that foreigners are beginning to adapt and adjust to the higher cost of foreign ownership of homes in Singapore. Such increased cost is a result of several property cooling measures implemented over the last few years to dampen foreign demand and curb speculation in the private residential market,” said Tan Tee Khoon, Executive Director, Residential Services at Knight Frank Singapore.

Foreign buyer interest was particularly strong in District 23 which recorded the largest number of home purchases by foreign buyers in Q3 2014.

The quarterly increase in the proportion of PR and NPR homebuyers for this district (which includes Hillview, Dairy Farm, Choa Chu Kang) was also the largest, rising from 5.5 per cent in Q2 2014 to 8.8 per cent in Q3 2014.

There were a total of 717 foreign homebuyer transactions throughout the country in the third quarter, and about 17.3 percent were in the prime residential Districts 9, 10 and 11, marking an increase from the 14 percent recorded in Q2 2014.

Foreign homebuyer transactions formed 36.3 percent, 34.5 percent, and 20.2 percent of total transactions in Districts 9, 10, and 11 respectively in Q3 2014.

According to Knight Frank, the rise in the ration of foreign buyers from July to September reflects foreigners’ interest to invest and live in Singapore. Tan added, “Such foreign home-buying interest is expected to rise further as Singapore continues to establish itself as a global city with stable economic fundamentals and a conducive living environment.”